“Tiny Minority” of Terror-Supporting Muslims?

Koran-bookFrontpage, May 1, 2015 by David Meir-Levi:

On April 27, former President George W. Bush delivered an uncharacteristically harsh public criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy, accusing him of naiveté regarding Iran, losing the war against Islamic terrorism, contributing to the chaos in Iraq, and in general, lacking a clear strategy for the Middle East and placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world.

He forgot to mention one very important, revealing and recurring aspect of Obama’s failures as the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and as the leader of the free world: he plays front-man for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and a dozen other Islamic terrorist organizations.

Back on February 17, The Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by President Obama, in which the president said:

“Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.”

During that same week Obama hosted at the White House a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent terrorism. His message at that summit was essentially the same as his op-ed: violent extremists have legitimate grievances and their violence can best be prevented by promoting democratic economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so that terrorists and wannabe terrorists can have hope, dignity and jobs. His words came with an important caveat, a warning about whom and what not to blame:

“Al-Qaida and ISIL and groups like it (sic!) are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders .… We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie.”

Moreover,

“The terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology… No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism.” 

This mendacious message was taken to its transparently ridiculous extreme by State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf when interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC and later by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Expanding upon the President’s message, she asserted that the root cause of ISIS’s terrorism is unemployment and poverty.

“We cannot win the War on Terror, nor can we win the war on ISIS, by killing them. We need to find them jobs. We need to get to the root cause of terrorism; and that is poverty and lack of opportunity in the terrorist community.”

So here’s the administration’s logic: al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas and the dozens of other Muslim, hate-mongering, supremacist, jihadist, annihilationist terrorist armies busily at work slaughtering civilians, burning people alive, and beheading people, have legitimate grievances but still could be weaned away from their terrorist proclivities if only they had hope, dignity, and jobs.

Such tripe is truly worthy of unrestrained obloquy. There is a robust body of literature utilizing empirical analysis that incontrovertibly contradicts our president’s assertions. A recent Rand study has shown that terrorists are not particularly impoverished or uneducated. In fact, many terrorist leaders come from relatively privileged backgrounds. There is simply no link between poverty and terrorism.

The present writer has argued elsewhere in this journal that President Obama’s “don’t blame Islam” and “all they need is hope and jobs” doctrine is not the result of ignorance or misunderstanding, nor is it a desperate concern for the delicate sensibilities of Muslim minorities in our country, nor is it “naiveté” (pace George W. Bush), nor even an example of sheer stupidity. Rather, it is an intentional doctrine of pure treason against the USA and against the western world. It is an attempt to hamper America’s defensive actions against its Muslim terrorist attackers by redirecting or preventing our natural and legitimate responses to terrorist attacks. To paraphrase George Orwell: “If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other.”

By obfuscating the reality of the terrorists’ motivations and intentions, and minimizing the threat that they pose to the USA and to western civilization, Obama is helping the terrorists and hampering his own country. Helping the enemy in wartime is treason.

There is, however, one grain of truth in his benighted pronouncements about dignity, hope, and jobs: Isis et al do not speak for all Muslims. It is reasonable to assume that not every one of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today is actively or passively participatory or supportive of the Muslim jihadist terror organizations.

But for just how many Muslims does ISIS speak? To understand the enormity of Obama’s treason, we must first know the answer to this question.

Some indication of the size of the global Muslim population supportive of Muslim jihadist terrorism can be gleaned from a series of polls aptly summarized by Brietbart’s Ben Shapiro and Wikipedia. Polls of Muslims in France, Britain, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, Morocco, Jordan, Iraq, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the USA show a low of 10% and a high of 70% of respondents supporting terrorism, suicide bombings, ISIS, el-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Results from the USA are perhaps the most hair-raising. In a Pew 2013 poll 13% of American Muslims said that violence against civilians is often, sometimes or rarely justified to defend Islam. A 2011 poll from Pew showed that 19 percent of American Muslims were either favorable toward Al Qaeda or didn’t know. Estimates place the Muslim population of the USA at about 6.7 million people. 13% of 6,700,000 is 871,000 people. 13% is a minority, but 871,000 is a frighteningly big number of people who think that targeting civilians is just fine, at least some times. That 1,273,000 (19% of 6.7 million) American Muslims admire Al Qaeda is even more terrifying.

And let’s keep in mind that Hamas is wildly popular in Israel’s West Bank, Hezbollah is growing in popularity and in political strength in Lebanon as a seemingly endless stream of volunteers flock to their ranks, ISIS enjoys a steady flow of new recruits lusting to do their share of the beheadings and mass murders, and Boko Haram is growing in strength as Nigerian Muslims enlist to kidnap more teen-aged Christian girls and behead more African Christians unwilling to convert. Moreover, in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, Islamist leaders who solidly and vociferously support terrorism against the west have been elected to office with overwhelming majorities. Clearly a large majority of those Muslim voters want a pro-terrorism leader in office.

There is some good news in these polls: in some countries support for Muslim terrorism is on the decline. But jubilation must be tempered with the recognition that this decline may be the result of the (probably accurate) belief that some Islamic terror organizations represent an existential threat to those Muslim countries in which the polls show a decline. And even more worrisome, even after that decline there is still double-digit support for el-Qaeda and the Taliban.

In short, a double-digit percentage of Muslims all over the world sympathize with terrorist groups.

Even if we take the lowest estimate, Dr. Pipes’ 10%, we must note that 10% of one billion six-hundred million Muslims world-wide is one hundred and sixty million (160,000,000) people; and some research supports numbers above 15%. So when we reduce the total by the approximately 50 % who are women, and again by the c. 25% who are too young or too old to be considered potential recruits for the terrorist minions, we are left with about 40,000,000 potentially active Muslim supporters of terrorism. Even if only 4% of those supporters become active terrorists, we are facing a terrorist army of 16,000,000 people.

So, indeed our president is correct that Isis does not speak for all Muslims. But the 10-15% of those for whom they most probably do speak confront us with an enormous terrorist army. The “tiny minority” of Muslims who want to see us either dead or dhimmi or Muslim is not so tiny. Unless our leadership gets us onto a war footing now, we may be looking at the end of western civilization.

Terrorism in Africa: The Imminent Threat to the United States

Ansar al Sharia recruits receive training at a camp near Benghazi.

Ansar al Sharia recruits receive training at a camp near Benghazi.

Long War Journal, April 29, 2015:

Editor’s note: Below is Thomas Joscelyn’s testimony to the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence on the threat posed by jihadist groups in Africa. 

In preparing today’s testimony, I reviewed the history of al Qaeda’s plotting against the West. A number of facts demonstrate that al Qaeda’s presence in Africa has been tied to these efforts. For instance, declassified documents recovered in Osama bin Laden’s compound show that he ordered al Qaeda’s branches in Africa to select candidates capable of striking inside the U.S. Bin Laden also ordered al Qaeda’s African branches to coordinate their work with his “external operations” team, which was responsible for plotting attacks against Western interests. Some of al Qaeda’s most senior leaders, including those who have overseen al Qaeda’s planned attacks in the West, have come from Africa. Senior al Qaeda leaders embedded in Shabaab have also trained operatives to attack in Europe. I discuss this evidence in detail in the final section of my written testimony.

Complex tribal, ethnic, and religious dynamics mean that any summary of the situation in Africa will be necessarily incomplete.  However, I will attempt to distill some themes that are important for understanding the rising jihadist threat in the continent. While there are important differences between ISIS and al Qaeda, and the two are at odds with one another in a variety of ways, they are both inherently anti-American and anti-Western. Thus, they constitute a threat to our interests everywhere their jihadists fight.

Since the beginning of the year, the ISIS branch in Libya has repeatedly attacked foreign interests. The group has bombed and/or assaulted with small arms the Algerian, Moroccan, Iranian, South Korean and Spanish embassies in Tripoli. Fortunately, these attacks have caused only a few casualties, as foreign governments pulled most of their diplomatic personnel out of Libya months ago. But these incidents show the organization’s followers are deeply hostile to any foreign presence.

Other ISIS attacks on foreigners in Libya have been more lethal and at least two Americans have been killed by ISIS’ so-called “provinces.” In January, the group’s fighters launched a complex assault on the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli. Ten people, including David Berry, a former U.S. Marine serving as a security contractor, were killed. In August 2014, jihadists from the ISIS province in the Sinai killed William Henderson, an American petroleum worker.

Some of ISIS’ most gruesome acts in North Africa have come with pointed threats against the West. In February, the jihadists beheaded 21 Egyptian Copts. The propaganda video showing the murders was entitled, “A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross.” ISIS explicitly threatened Italy in the video and also made it clear that they would target Christians simply for adhering to a different faith. Earlier this month, ISIS’ branch followed up by killing a large group of Ethiopian Christians.

In March, ISIS claimed responsibility for the massacre at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis. More than 20 people were killed in the assault, which targeted foreign tourists. Citizens of Britain, France, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Poland, and Spain were among the victims. Although ISIS was quick to lay claim to the museum slayings, the reality is more complicated. The Tunisian government has blamed the Uqba ibn Nafi Brigade, which is part of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an official branch of al Qaeda. Based on publicly-available information, it appears that the attackers may have joined ISIS, but the operation itself was planned by the AQIM brigade’s leadership.

Al Qaeda’s international network continues to launch high-profile attacks across the continent. Some of these operations directly target foreigners. Earlier this month, Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in Somalia, killed more than 140 people at the Garissa University College in Kenya. The gunmen reportedly separated out non-Muslims for killing, letting many Muslims go. This shows that the organization, like other parts of al Qaeda, is very concerned about the impact of its violence in the Muslim-majority world. In this respect and others, the Garissa attack was similar to Shabaab’s siege of the Westgate shopping mall in September 2013. More than 60 people were killed, with Shabaab’s gunmen singling out non-Muslims. Shabaab’s attacks in Kenya and other neighboring countries are part of what the UN has identified as the group’s “regional” strategy. Shabaab has undoubtedly suffered setbacks since the height of its power in East Africa, but it still operates a prolific insurgency inside Somalia, while also seeking to expand its capabilities in the surrounding countries. In fact, America’s counterterrorism efforts in East Africa seem to be principally aimed at the part of Shabaab tasked with exporting terrorism throughout the region.

As we’ve seen over the past several years, al Qaeda-affiliated groups in Africa will attack American and Western interests when the opportunity presents itself.  The September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Mission and Annex in Benghazi and the raid on the U.S. Embassy in Tunis three days later were carried out by al Qaeda-linked groups. The Ansar al Sharia organizations in Libya and Tunisia, both of which are tied to AQIM, were involved in these assaults on America’s diplomatic presence in North Africa. In early 2013, terrorists commanded by Mokhtar Belmokhtar killed dozens of foreign workers during the siege of the In Amenas gas facility in Algeria. Belmokhtar, who is openly loyal to Ayman al Zawahiri, claimed responsibility for operation on behalf of al Qaeda.

There is no doubt, therefore, that both ISIS and al Qaeda pose a threat to Western interests in Africa. Below, I explore current trends within both organizations, highlighting some ways these international networks may threaten Americans both home and abroad. But first, I briefly look at the different strategies ISIS and al Qaeda are employing to build up their networks.

Read more

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Subcommittee Hearing: Terrorism in Africa: The Imminent Threat to the United States

Witnesses

Dr. J. Peter Pham
Director
Africa Center
Atlantic Council
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Mr. Thomas Joscelyn
Senior Fellow
Foundation for Defense of Democracies
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

Dr. Daniel Byman
Research Director
Center for Middle East Policy
Center for Security Studies
Brookings Institution
Witness Statement [PDF]
Witness Truth in Testimony [PDF]

The growing list of Muslim Student Association (MSA) terrorists – updated

668_large (1)By Creeping Sharia, April 25, 2015:

The MSA has a growing list of terrorist alumni as noted in this post, Why Muslim Student Group Concerned the NYPD:

The list is extensive, but among the MSA alumni who went on to terrorist involvement are:

  • Anwar al-Awlaki, an influential American-born al-Qaida cleric who recruited a series of homegrown jihadists before being killed by a U.S. drone strike;
  • Aafia Siddiqui, convicted of attempted murder and assault on U.S. officers and employees in Afghanistan;
  • Zachary Chesser, convicted of attempting to provide material support to the Somali terrorist group al-Shabaab and soliciting attacks on “South Park” producers for an episode in which the prophet Muhammad was shown in a bear suit;
  • Jesse Morton, convicted with Chesser of threatening the South Park producers with murder;
  • Adam Gadahn, an al-Qaida spokesman who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted List for treason and material support to al-Qaida;
  • Waheed Zaman, who was convicted of plotting to blow up transatlantic flights;
  • Adis Medunjanin, who is awaiting trial for plotting to bomb New York subways;
  • Ramy Zamzam, who was convicted in Pakistan of conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks;
  • Omar Hammami, who was indicted on charges of providing material support to al-Shabbab and is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department for his terrorist connections;
  • Muhammad Junaid Babar, who pled guilty to his support to al-Qaida; and
  • Syed Hashmi, who pled guilty to providing material support to al-Qaida.

MSA was founded in the United States in 1963 by members of the Egyptian-based Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood seeks a global Islamic state and has spawned leaders of a series of Sunni terrorist groups, including al-Qaida, Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The Muslim Brotherhood motto established by founder Hassan al-Banna is, “God is our objective, the Quran is our Constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is the highest of our aspirations.”

MSA members remain faithful to Brotherhood ideology. At the closing session of the MSA West conference in January 2011 at UCLA, attendees recited a pledge, “Allah is my lord, Islam is my life, the Quran is my guide, the Sunna is my practice, Jihad is my spirit, righteousness is my character, paradise is my goal. I enjoin what is right, I forbid what is wrong, I will fight against oppression, and I will die to establish Islam.”


Update 1 via the Hayride: h/t terrortrends

  • In June 2006, Ali Asad Chandia, who had served as president of the Montgomery College (Maryland) MSA in 1998 and 1999, was convicted on terror charges as part of a Northern Virginia jihad network; he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for three separate counts of conspiracy and material support to the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
  • Abdurahman Alamoudi, who served as MSA national president in 1982 and 1983, is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his extensive international terrorist activities, which included fundraising for al Qaeda.
  • In February 2010, Aafia Siddiqui – a woman who had been captured in 2008 with explosives, deadly chemicals, and a list of New York City landmarks – was convicted of attempting to murder a U.S. Army captain while she was incarcerated and being interrogated by authorities at a prison in Afghanistan. Described variously as “al-Qaeda’s Mata Hari” and “Lady al-Qaeda,” Siddiqui had previously been radicalized by the MSA chapter at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied neuroscience.
  • Wael Hamza Julaidan, who served as president of the University of Arizona MSA in the mid-1980s, went on to become one of al Qaeda’s co-founders and its logistics chief. In September 2002, the U.S. governmentlisted Julaidan as a specially designated global terrorist, identifying him as a close associate of Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, and as a director of the Rabita Trust, which had already been designated a terrorist finance entity that supported al-Qaeda.
  • University of Idaho MSA president Sami Omar Al-Hussayen, who operated nearly a dozen Arabic-language websites for anti-American, pro-suicide-bombing clerics, was accused by federal authorities of using his academic studies as a cover for terrorist support activities. Al-Hussayen wasdeported to Saudi Arabia in June 2004 after agreeing to a deal with federal prosecutors.
  • In December 2009, Howard University dental student Ramy Zamzam, who had served as the president of MSA’s D.C. Council, was arrested in Pakistan along with four other D.C.-area men (all of whom were also active in MSA). All five were charged with plotting to join the Jaish-e-Muhammed terrorist group with plans to attack U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan; all five were convicted in a Pakistani court in June 2010 and sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.
  • Syed Maaz Shah, secretary of the University of Texas-Dallas MSA chapter, was arrested in December 2006, for his involvement in paramilitary training at an Islamic campground, where he was preparing to join the Taliban in order to fight U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Shah was convicted on weapons charges in May 2007.
  • Ziyad Khaleel, president of the Columbia College (Missouri) MSA, was a representative of the Islamic Association for Palestine (a Hamas front). He also registered and operated the English-language website for Hamas, and served as al Qaeda’s chief procurement agent in the United States during the 1990s. Among the items Khaleel purchased was a $7,500 satellite phone for Osama bin Laden. That phone, dubbed by intelligence authorities as the “jihad phone,” was used to plan the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings.
  • Anwar Al-Awlaki served as president of the Colorado State University MSA in the early 1990s, and as chaplain of the George Washington University MSA in 2001. In Washington, DC, he delivered sermons that were attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers and by Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan. In 2002 Alwaki fled the U.S. for Yemen, where he developed ties to al Qaeda and reportedly played a role in the Fort Hood massacre of 2009, the failedChristmas Day underwear-bomber plot of 2009, and the attempted Times Square bombing of 2010.
  • Carlos Bledsoe, aka Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, was a member of the MSA as a student at Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN. Bledsoe went on to receive terrorist training at a jihadist training camp in Yemen and returned to the US and murdered US Army Private Andy Long outside a Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office on June 1, 2009.
  • Abu Mansoor al-Amriki, aka Omar Hammami is an American-born member of al Shahab, a Somali Islamic militant group aligned with al Qaeda. Hammami served as president of the MSA chapter at the University of South Alabama.
  • Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who would later go on to mastermind the September 11th terrorist attacks as the number 3 man in Al Qaeda, was a member of the MSA chapter at North Carolina A&T in 1986.

If anyone knows of other MSA jihadists, let us know and we’ll update the list.

More: Muslim Student Association Pledge of Allegiance: Jihad is my spirit, I will die to establish Islam

***

Update: From a CJR reader in Canada:

YOU ASKED: If anyone knows of other MSA jihadists, let us know and we’ll update the list.

Here are some names in Canada

Ahmed Said Khadr
MSA University of Ottawa
http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/ahmed-said-khadrs-radicalization-at-the-university-of-ottawa/

Ferid Imam
MSA University of Manitoba
Archive.Today (Former MSA Manitoba president Shariq Kidwai said that Ferid Imam has been a president of the association before him.)

Muhanad Al Farekh
MSA University of Manitoba
http://pointdebasculecanada.ca/update-after-deported-to-u-s-from-pakistan-former-msa-manitoba-al-farekh-appears-in-new-york-court-terrorism-charges/
https://archive.is/0lxuS

Maiwand Yar
MSA University of Manitoba
RCMP Warrant https://archive.is/kWAqF
MSA Manitoba https://archive.is/0lxuS

Geert Wilders Speech for US Congressmen at Conservative Opportunity Society

intro-geert-wilders

Geert Wilders Weblog, April 29, 2015:

Dear Friends,

It is an honor to be here, among so many colleagues. Thank you Steve for inviting me here at the Conservative Opportunity Society.

I am a politician under attack. For over ten years now, I have been living under 24 hour police protection. I am on the death list of Al Qaida. The Pakistani Taliban also want me dead and terrorists from the Islamic State in Syria made similar threats. In order to be safe, my wife and live in a safe house and have stayed in army barracks and even in prison cells, actually the same cells and beds where the Lockerbie suspects were held in the Netherlands. I am driven around in armored cars and even during TV debates in election time in my home country I have to wear a bullet proof vest. Leftist and liberal activists call me a xenophobe and a racist and the extreme right calls me a Zionist and Mossad agent because of my love for Israel.

So what did I do to deserve all this?
The reason for all this is that I speak out against the Islamization of the West. The reason is that I tell the truth about the totalitarian ideology called Islam and that I nonetheless lead one of the major parties in the Netherlands. A national poll yesterday even indicated that my party, the Party for Freedom, is currently the biggest party in the Netherlands.

But enough about me. It is not about me.
I am not the only one under attack. My country is under attack. My continent is under attack. Your country and your continent are under attack. We are all under attack. Our western civilization based on Christianity and Judaism is under attack. The whole free Western world is under attack.

And remember, we have been under attack before.
As it happens, we are gathered here this morning on a symbolic day.
Exactly 70 years ago, on April 29, 1945, two divisions of the US Seventh Army liberated the concentration camp of Dachau, the oldest of the Nazi concentration camps.
One of the American liberators wrote: “Since we saw this camp, we understood that we were not engaged in war against soldiers and officers, but against criminals.”

After the Second World War, our leaders vowed: Never again!
Never again will we tolerate anti-Semitism, political assassinations, mass murders, oppression, slavery. And they vowed that they would never forget and always remember the lessons of history.

Here is one of these lessons:
When confronted with evil, do not put your heads in the sand, but act before it is too late.

In the 1930s, most politicians in Europe had looked away. They tried to appease evil, hoping that it would react to appeasement by growing moderate. What fools they had been! And what a terrible price the world had to pay for this foolishness. Neutrality in the face of evil is evil.
But appeasement is downright suicide.

And here we are today.
Despite all the promises that we would not make the same awful mistake all over again, many Western leaders are doing exactly that. Looking away and appeasing evil.

I often wonder what part of the Koran our leaders find so difficult to understand?
Is it sura 47:4? “When ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and cause a bloodbath among them”? Or is it sura 4:89, “Seize them and kill them wherever ye find them”? Or sura 8:60, “Strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah”? Or is it another of the over 150 Koranic verses which call for jihad against non-Muslims? Or any of the many verses which call for the subjugation of Christians and Jews, or the murder of apostates?

We have a huge problem with Islam in the West today. First, let us look at the causes, then at the consequences, and finally at ways to solve this problem.

The Islamization process has been caused by immigration, combined with our failure to demand that immigrants adapt our values. Fifty years ago, the Netherlands had one thousand Islamic immigrants. Today, we have one million, or 6% of our population.
In the Netherlands, Muhammad is currently already the second most popular name among newborn boys nationwide and the most popular name in our three largest cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. This is also the case in the Belgian capital Brussels, the Norwegian capital Oslo, the British capital London and as a matter of fact even in the whole of Great-Britain.

We failed to demand that immigrants adopt our Judeo-Christian values and assimilate into our society. And here are some of the consequences: There is little loyalty to our home countries.
A survey last November among Turkish youths in the Netherlands found that 80% do not consider the violence which groups such like IS use against non-believers to be wrong. An earlier poll showed that 73% of the Muslims in my country say that Dutch Muslims who go and fight in Syria are heroes. You have heard right: Heroes!

Of course – I repeat it wherever I go – I have nothing against Muslims. Before the death threats started I have visited almost every Islamic country and I met many friendly people. I know there are many moderate Muslims who do not live according to the violent commands of the Koran. Muslims can be moderates. But there is no moderate Islam. Islam has changed Europe beyond recognition.

I invite you to come to Europe and visit some of our inner cities. I will show you around. We will drive you around. You can see it with your own eyes. You will not believe your eyes.
Many neighborhoods of European cities no longer look European. We are confronted with headscarves and burkas, polygamy, and huge sympathy for the goals and the practices of terror groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

The floodgates of immigration are wide open.
Last year, a record 218,000 immigrants reached Europe by boats across the Mediterranean Sea.
Those who made it were the lucky ones. Many of the boats sink and the immigrants drown.
A human catastrophe is unfolding. The Mediterranean is becoming a Sea of Death.
At this very moment, there are up to 1 million immigrants, mostly Islamic, waiting in North Africa to cross the Mediterranean in shabby boats. They take the risk of drowning because they know that Europe is not sending them back once they have made it. That is why ever more people try to cross. This situation must stop.

The European Union has decided to send navy vessels to pick up the immigrants and transport them to Europe. This policy is stupid. It will encourage even more people to attempt crossing the sea. What Europe should do is to follow the example of Australia. The Australian navy pushes boats with immigrants back, out of the Australian waters. If the boats of the immigrants are too shabby, the Australians provide them with new boats with food and water, but they do not allow one single illegal immigrant to enter their country. The Australians results are excellent: fewer people try to reach Australia by boat, fewer people drown and the criminal human traffickers lose their income.

The boats also constitute a huge security risk. ISIS is using them as a gateway to Europe. ISIS recently boasted from Libya: “We will conquer Rome with Allah’s permissions.” The British Quilliam Foundation saw an ISIS document revealing that jihadis are about to sail across the Mediterranean posing as migrants on people trafficking vessels. They want to attack what they call “the Crusader states” in Europe.

The UN plan to resettle 1 million immigrants in Western nations will provide jihadis an opportunity to infiltrate Western countries, including the US. It will give terrorists the opportunity to settle in our countries without the extra scrutiny involved in obtaining a visa or a residence permit.
We should not do this. The vast majority of the European citizens disapprove of the way their governments are handling immigration. Moreover, there are plenty of other safe countries where immigrants bound for the West can go to, including the wealthy Gulf States that have almost zero asylum-seekers today.

Immigration, especially Islamic immigration, had devastating consequences. It has made our countries less safe. What this means, we witnessed last Summer in my home town, The Hague. Sympathizers of the Islamic State paraded in the streets. They carried swastikas, they carried the black flags of IS. They shouted “Death to the Jews.”
It was a truly frightening sight, bringing back memories of the darkest period in our history.
It indicates how much a once so peaceful and tolerant society as the Netherlands has changed as a result of Islamic mass immigration.

In every Western nation, there are homegrown jihadis, prepared to commit violence. ISIS calls them “city wolves.” Our media prefer to speak of “lone wolves,” but they are not alone; there are thousands of them. According to the European police agency Europol, 5,000 homegrown jihadis have left Europe to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The situation is extremely serious.
Last January, an ISIS operative said that his organization had already sent some 4,000 fighters into Europe. 4,000 city wolves are on the loose in Europe. In Germany, the Military Intelligence Service even warns for jihadis having infiltrated the German army.

In my country, the University of Amsterdam found that 11% of the 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands is prepared to use violence for the sake of Islam. That is a staggering 100,000 people in a country of 17 million inhabitants!

Our duty is clear. In order to solve the problem, we have to stop mass immigration to the West from Islamic countries. And we have to get rid of the cultural relativism.

The authorities in both Europe and America try to prevent Jihadis from leaving for Syria and Iraq.
But I say: This is wrong. Let them leave if they want to leave. But let them never return.
Blocking the exodus of those who want to wage Jihad elsewhere and not detain them is sheer stupidity. Perhaps you remember that the Jihadis who last Autumn murdered soldiers in Canada were people whom the authorities had previously prevented to leave for Syria and who were not arrested but allowed to go free on the street.
We must hasten their exit instead of preventing it. But we must never allow them to return. If you leave for jihad you lose the right to our citizenship and we will never let you come back again. This is how it should be.

In my country and the other EU member states, which signed the so-called Schengen Treaty, we have abolished all border controls between the 26 member states of the Schengen zone. This means that Jihadis from one of these states can freely travel to the others and commit their crimes there. And it has already happened. Last year a Jihadi from France, who had just returned from Syria, went to Belgium and murdered four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Without borders a nation-cannot guarantee the security of its citizens. Neither can it preserve its national identity and culture. I believe that one of the most vital things which we Europeans must do is to leave Schengen and reinstate national border control.

My friends, we are all in the same boat.
And we must do our duty.
We must speak the truth about Islam, so that our electorates be aware of the danger.
We must protect our Judeo-Christian civilization, so that their children can leave in peace and prosperity.
We must defend our borders, so that our families be safe and our nation’s identity preserved.
We must stand with Israel and all the free nations threatened by Islam.
And above all, we must be brave.
As the great Ronald Reagan said: The future does not belong to the fainthearted.

Thank you.

Frontline Documentary: A Perfect Terrorist

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The Memoir of an “American Terrorist”

by Jason M. Breslow

David Coleman Headley is not exactly a household name, but his is one of the more unnerving terrorism cases in the post-9/11 era. White male. Government informant. American citizen. In other words, he had the perfect cover.

It was under the safety of that cover that Headley — a former drug smuggler turned informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration — helped stage the November 2008 siege in Mumbai, an audacious attack that left 166 people dead, including six Americans. Working with the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba, Headley used his U.S. passport to travel to India, scout locations for the plot, film them and even find a landing site for the plot’s attackers.

Within weeks of Mumbai, Headley was working on another plot — this time working for Al Qaeda, planning an assault against a Danish newspaper that had published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. The plan: A group of attackers would take hostages at the paper, shoot them, behead them and then throw their heads out the window. Again, Headley worked reconnaissance for the mission until his eventual arrest by the FBI at O’Hare International Airport in 2009.

Today, Headley is serving 35 years for his role in Mumbai. His case, however, has hardly gone away. In the aftermath of the Edward Snowden revelations about NSA surveillance, U.S. intelligence officials pointed to the Headley case as an example of how bulk data collection can thwart a terrorist attack. But tonight, in American Terrorist, ProPublica and FRONTLINE investigate that claim.

In the course of our investigation, FRONTLINE was given exclusive access to a draft of a memoir Headley wrote in prison. Excerpts from the draft offer a unique window into Headley’s turn toward extremism, his training with Lashkar-e-Taiba and his preparations for the Denmark attack.

In one passage, for example, Headley writes about his first encounter with Lashkar militants, describing how he was “very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation. As Headley tells it:

In 1999, after serving my sentence for drug trafficking, I decided to turn over a new leaf. To make amends for my unrighteous ways I worked … for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) … I had spent the past fifteen years frequenting the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, on heroin procuring expeditions. This lawless land had remained the same, frozen in time, since the 18th century. The British had thought it wise to leave this place alone during their rule of India. I started leaning more and more on my religion as part of my change. I had not been a practicing Muslim the past fifteen years, but the seeds of Islam sown in me by my Father and in school had never completely died out. Another change I made was to break away from my Canadian girlfriend, who I had been planning to marry for the past five years, and agree to an arranged marriage in Pakistan. Still on probation, I kept visiting Pakistan four times a year, without the knowledge of the DEA or my Probation Officer, to see my new wife, who I had decided to keep in Pakistan.

On one of my trips, October 2000, I made my first contact with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LT), quite by accident. I attended their annual convection in November. I was very impressed with their dedication to the cause of the liberation of Kashmir from Indian occupation.

In a later passage, Headley marks his decision to join Lashkar “full time” following the 9/11 attacks, and says that by 2002 the group asked him to take “the Daura Aamma, the basic military training course offered by LT.” It was one of several training programs he writes about. In a separate section, he recalls a second course that he attended:

We hid most of the day in caves and under trees, while we were given instructions on various lessons. Most of the practical aspects of the lessons were carried out at night. During this course, I was trained in infiltration, survival, camouflage, raid/ambush tactics, hide out, hiding and retrieving weapons caches, more than a dozen night marches, target practice with AK-47 and 9 mm pistol, RPG, grenades, among other training. We also went through an extensive indoctrination process and were required to study many Quaranic Chapters and Hadith.

By 2005, Lashkar’s plans for Headley are coming into focus. He is trained in explosives, but perhaps most importantly, Lashkar asks him to change the name given to him at birth by his Pakistani father and American mother — Daood Gilani. He chooses David, which is English for Daood; Coleman, which was his grandfather’s name; and Headley, which was his mother’s maiden name. It was a bureaucratic act, but intelligence officials say the change made Headley that much more difficult to track.

Finally, in June, my immediate superior, Sajid Mir, instructed me to return to the United States, change my Muslim name to a Christian sounding name and get a new U.S. passport under that name. He now informed me I would be going to India, since I looked nothing like a Pakistani in appearance and spoke fluent Hindi and Urdu it would give me a distinct advantage in India.

As his training continued, so did his embrace of the Lashkar lifestyle. In 2007, for example, Headley takes a second wife. He describes the decision by saying:

Polygamy was aggressively encouraged by LT and they were really happy to see me take this step. I was definitely “one of the guys” now.

Around the same time, Headley was conducting regular reconnaissance of targets in Mumbai. On one trip, he checks into the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, which would later be the epicenter of the Mumbai attack, with his new wife for a “honeymoon.” As he cases locations on his trips to the city, Headley says he takes “extensive video.”

The plan was to capture an Indian fishing vessel, which constantly strayed into Pakistani waters, and commandeer it all the way to Mumbai. The hope was that the Indian Coast Guard would not notice an Indian vessel. The boys would carry a GPS device which would guide them directly to the landing site, I had selected earlier.

After the attack, Headley says he was told to “lay low.” Instead, he eventually connects with Al Qaeda and with the assistance of a contact he has inside the organization he travels to Denmark to scout the Jyllands-Posten newspaper for a possible strike.

This paper had published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad and was on the top of the hit list for Al Qaeda. The Major told me that the leadership desired the attack to be carried out ASAP on the Newspaper Head Office. I visited Copenhagen in January 2009 and conducted detailed surveillance of the office there as well as their location in Arhus. I was able to make entry into both locations. …

A few days later he took me to North Waziristan, where I met Ilyas Kashmiri, the Al Qaeda number four. He gave me a further pep talk on the Denmark Project, saying that, both, Osama bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri had stressed upon him the need to conclude this matter quickly. I agreed and assured him of my best effort.

Western intelligence would soon learn of the plot, and close in on Headley. At the end of his draft, he describes the days leading up to his arrest.

I received final instructions in Denmark and left for the United States. in July 2009, I flew to England from Chicago and met Kashmiri’s friends. … Both of these men were also under surveillance by British Police, as a result of which I too came under surveillance. They forwarded their information to the F.B.I. From England, I checked out Denmark one last time and returned to the United States. I had now reached the conclusion that since I was short on man power, I would modify the operation and, instead of assaulting the newspaper building, just take out the cartoonist, Kurt Westergaard, and do this deed myself. All I would need was a handgun, which I knew I could find in Europe … I was finally arrested on 3 October 2009, at O’Hare Airport, on my way back to Pakistan.

Benghazi suspect designated by UN, State Department

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LWJ, BY THOMAS JOSCELYN | April 15, 2015:

The State Department added Ali Ouni Harzi to the US government’s list of specially designated global terrorists yesterday. Harzi, who is based in Syria, “joined Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia (AAS-T) in 2011 and was a high-profile member known for recruiting volunteers, facilitating the travel of AAS-T fighters to Syria, and for smuggling weapons and explosives into Tunisia,” according to State.

Curiously, the State Department’s designation page does not mention Harzi’s role in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks.

Days earlier, the United Nations (UN) added Harzi to the Security Council’s al Qaeda sanctions list. The UN’s designation page for Harzi reads: “Planned and perpetrated the attack against the Consulate of the United States in Benghazi, Libya on 11 Sep. 2012.”

Indeed, Harzi was one of the first suspects in the Benghazi attack to be publicly identified. The Daily Beast first reported that Harzi’s involvement in the assault on the US Mission and Annex were discovered after US officials learned that he had “posted an update on social media about the fighting shortly after it had begun.” This was “[o]ne of the first clues the intelligence community had about the perpetrators” in Benghazi.

Harzi was apprehended in Turkey in October 2012 at the behest of US officials. He was making his way to Syria at the time.

After being deported to Tunisia, Harzi was held for weeks. In December 2012, FBI agents questioned him about the Benghazi attack. Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist organization, stalked the agents. The group posted their pictures online while condemning the Tunisian government for allowing the FBI to interview Harzi. That same month Ansar al Sharia Tunisia released a video discussing Harzi’s case and confirming the FBI’s role in his questioning.

In early January 2013, despite his suspected role in the death of four Americans, Harzi was released. Ansar al Sharia posted a video celebrating Harzi’s release. Harzi made some brief comments in the video, which showed him being congratulated by his fellow jihadists.

US officials, including then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and John Brennan, who became the CIA director, were asked about Harzi’s release during congressional hearings.

In late January 2013, Clinton told senators that the Tunisians had “assured” the United States that Harzi was “under the monitoring of the court.” In February, during his confirmation process to become CIA director, Brennan claimed that the US government “didn’t have anything on” Harzi and, therefore, his release was not worrisome.

As the UN’s designation shows, however, there has long been evidence that Harzi was directly involved in the Benghazi attack. And Tunisian authorities clearly failed to keep tabs on Harzi.

On February 6, 2013, a left-wing Tunisian politician named Chokri Belaid was assassinated. Then, on July 25, another popular politician, Mohamed Brahmi, was killed. The following day Tunisian authorities claimed that Harzi was involved in both assassinations. However, neither the UN nor the State Department designations mention this allegation. Another Ansar al Sharia Tunisia member who went on to join the Islamic State has boasted of his role in planning the murders.

In March of this year, the Tunisian National Guard issued an arrest warrant for Harzi.

In addition to Ali Ouni Harzi (whose name is often spelled Ali Ani al Harzi in the press), the UN designated Tarak Ouni Harzi, Ali’s brother. Tarak was a known facilitator for al Qaeda in Iraq. Tarak was a “dangerous and active member of Al Qaida in Iraq” as of 2004, according to the UN and “also active in facilitating and hosting members of Ansar al Sharia in Tunisia…in Syria.” Tarak was sentenced, “in absentia, on 30 October 2007, to 24 years imprisonment for terrorist activities by the Appeals Court of Tunis.”

Despite being wanted by international authorities, both of the Harzi brothers remain at large. It is not clear if they are working for the Islamic State, the Al Nusrah Front, or some other jihadist groups in Syria.

The leader of Ansar al Sharia Tunisia, Abu Iyad al Tunisi, remains free as well. Al Tunisi is a longtime al Qaeda operative who helped orchestrate the assault on the US Embassy in Tunis on Sept. 14, 2012, just three days after the Benghazi attack. The State Department has also designated Abu Iyad as an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist and noted his role in the Sept. 14 assault.

Both Ansar al Sharia Libya, which was one of the al Qaeda groups responsible for the Benghazi attack, and Ansar al Sharia Tunisia have operated as part of al Qaeda’s network in North Africa.

Suspected Mastermind of Mumbai Massacre Released

m07_17179685CSP, by Aaron Kliegman, April 10, 2015:

Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, the alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, was released from a Pakistani jail on bail Friday morning. He was granted bail by an anti-terrorism court in December and was supposed to be released March 13th, but a Pakistani court delayed the action due to the Taliban’s attack on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 145 people.

The Lahore High Court suspended the Punjab government’s detention order for 55-year-old Lakhvi and declared it illegal, calling for his immediate release. According to Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi, the government had no other “legal option” but to free him and said “neither the government nor the Adiala Jail authorities can violate the court’s order this time.”

New Delhi responded harshly to Lakhvi’s release, asserting it erodes assurances Islamabad has given regarding cross-border terrorism. India’s Home Minister called the action “unfortunate and disappointing” while a spokesman for the ministry said the court’s decision is “an insult to victims of the 26/11 Mumbai attack.” Indian and Pakistan historically have a very combative, war-ridden relationship, and this event will only further tensions between the two.

The Mumbai Massacre, as the terrorist attacks are known by, was a series of twelve coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India’s most populous city, lasting four days from November 26th to November 29th. 172 people were killed with hundreds more wounded, and the attacks were carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a South Asian Islamist terror organization operating mainly from Pakistan.

Lakhvi is the alleged military chief of LeT and known as “chacha Zaki” by young recruits. He is accused of personally directing the Mumbai attackers by phone in Pakistan to carry out the coordinated violence. A spokesman for an LeT-linked charity, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, said Lakhvi is in a “secure place,” further indicating Lakhvi’s involvement with the terror group.

Pakistani intelligence is known to have worked with LeT, giving it financial and logistical support over the years. Furthermore, the country’s military is known to have close ties to the jihadist organization. Such dynamics have helped LeT survive since the group’s founding in 1990.

LeT’s reach, however, extends far beyond Pakistan to the United States. American David Headley was sentenced in 2013 to 35 years in prison for helping to plan the Mumbai attacks. Court documents detail that Headley trained at LeT camps in Pakistan from 2002 to 2005 and helped scout targets in Mumbai for the deadly plot.

Additionally, the Virginia Jihad Network was a jihadist network based in northern Virginia that caused a four-year federal investigation, which concluded in 2005 with the conviction of Ali Al-Timimi on terrorism charges.

There were several individuals within this organized movement who trained with, fought for, and/or provided material support to LeT, including 11 men charged in a U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Some of these individuals actually traveled to Pakistan to train at LeT camps.

The network was interestingly part of a larger paintball training “program” for Islamists, seemingly meant to train jihadists for combat. A U.S. government trial proved that LeT bought U.S. supplies to build military equipment through operatives in America and that an LeT official asked Masoud Khan – an LeT supporter who conspired to wage war against the U.S. – to buy him paintball equipment. Furthermore, Ismail Royer, an American involved the network who joined LeT, also had ties to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front group with terrorist associations.

Beyond the aforementioned networks, two brothers – Hafiz Mohammed Saeed and Hafiz Mohammed Masood – both of whom are clerics, have deep associations with LeT, and Masood lived in the U.S. for years. Masood is also spokesman for Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the U.S. calls a terrorist front group, and is a Muslim American Society leader, a Muslim Brotherhood group with ties to terrorism. Furthermore, his brother Saeed founded LeT, and the U.S. has a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

In September 2011, 24-year-old Jubair Ahmad, a Pakistani native residing in Woodbridge, VA, was arrested on charges of providing material support to LeT. According to the affidavit, Ahmad was indoctrinated and trained in Pakistan as a teenager before coming to the U.S. in 2007.

LeT evidently has a strong foothold in America and is not a problem confined to India and Pakistan. It is an Islamist terror group just like al-Qaeda or Boko Haram with the same goals of violence en route to domination. Therefore, the release of the group’s alleged military chief suspected of heading the Mumbai Massacre is concerning and raises questions about the Pakistan government’s commitment to eradicate terrorism. LeT is another indication that the U.S. and its allies face a global jihad movement that needs to be identified in order to be defeated.

Also see:

Understanding History’s 7 Stages of Jihad

7-stages-jihad

The Gorka Briefing, by Dr. Sebastian Gorka, Dec. 8, 2014:

The post-9/11 debate on the meaning of “jihad” has often floundered at a superficial understanding of the term. Jihad is often simply referred to as either “striving” or “holy war.” Jihad, however, must be understood to consist of four varieties of human activity agreed upon by Islamic theologians and jurists. The first is the jihad of the heart, the so-called “greater jihad” of fighting evil within oneself. The second and third definitions involve the jihads of the mind and tongue, the condoning of “right” behavior in others and counseling those who have gone astray. Finally, there is jihad of the sword. Jihad of the sword is most relevant for the counterterrorism community today because it rests at the foundation of the global jihadist ideology.

The concept of jihad of the sword has been repeatedly reinterpreted and redefined since the days of the Prophet Muhammad. During this extensive time period, jihad by the sword has been used by protagonists to rally co-religionists in the pursuit of a political objective. Al-Qa`ida and the broader Salafi-jihadi movement have also reinterpreted this concept to justify the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

To properly understand the historic significance of al-Qa’ida, it is relevant to review the contextual evolution of the concept of jihad and the great success al-Qa’ida has had in redefining it for the current conflict.

Since the days of the Prophet Muhammad, jihad by the sword has been shaped by seven, historically-shaped political conceptualizations of jihad, occurring in the following order:

  1. empire building;
  2. the suppression of apostate subjects;
  3. the revolution against “false” Muslim leaders;
  4. the anti-colonial struggle and “purification” of the religion;
  5. countering Western influence and jahiliyya;[1]
  6. guerrilla warfare against secular invaders; and finally
  7. the direct targeting of civilians in terrorist attacks.

This article will identify each contextual interpretation and the significance of jihad as terrorism.

SEVEN SWORDS OF JIHAD

Each of the contextualizations of jihad of the sword has been dictated by the desire to have jihad fill a real, specific and political need for Muslims in a given age and facing a specific threat. When the Prophet Muhammad was building a completely new state, he used the concept of jihad to justify the expansion of Islam. Although the Qur’an does not use the term jihad to refer directly to empire-building in the military sense, sura 25 verse 52 stipulates “obey not the disbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost endeavor.” Understood in the context of Muhammad’s return to Mecca from Medina, and the ensuing conflict with the Meccans that is reflected in the latter half of an earlier sura, it is clear that striving is in this instance connected to military combat post hijra,[2] as Muhammad returns to Mecca and enforces his new writ. This constitutes the first offensive use of the concept, referring to the conflict to establish order among the Arab tribes around Mecca, through the use of force if necessary.

When Muhammad’s successor, Abu Bakr, faced recalcitrant tribes on the Arabian Peninsula that were threatening the order Muhammad had previously established, the second meaning of jihad was born: ridda, or the war against apostasy, against one’s own subjects. In the Western world, this would be equivalent to a war against rebels.

The third contextual definition of jihad came centuries later after the eclipse of the Abbasid Caliphate’s strength, starting in the second half of the 13th century. It is this reworking of the meaning of holy war, most significantly by Ibn Taymiyya, that has the greatest consequence for today’s context. The motivation for this redefinition was the need to provide Muslims with the right to revolt against their own leaders, specifically the Mongols. Islam had previously prohibited revolution against Muslim rulers. Ibn Taymiyya’s answer was to remove the prohibition; he argued that jihad is permissible against one’s own leaders if they do not live as true Muslims and if their rule does not conform to the requirements of Shari`a. He said,

And it is known by necessity from the din (religion) of the Muslims, and the agreement of all the Muslims, that whoever permits the following of a din other than Islam or following a Shari`a other than the Shari`a of Muhammad then he is a kafir (unbeliever), and it is like the kufr (blasphemy) of one who believes in part of the Book and disbelieves in part of the Book.[3]

Since the fusion of Mongol, Turkic and Tartar power was occurring at the same time that Ibn Taymiyya was writing, he was specific about the threat to “pure” Islam and how Muslims must respond:

Fighting the Tartars, those who came to the land of Shaam is wajib (religious duty) according to the Book and the Sunna, for indeed Allah said in the Qur’an: And fight them until fitna (schism/ blasphemous upheaval) is no more, and the din becomes all for Allah.[4]

Therefore, in the Middle Ages jihad became legitimate revolution based upon a new mechanism by which the people could denounce their leaders as un-Islamic.

The fourth political reconceptualization of jihad occurred four centuries later, starting in the early 1700s. As the European powers pushed militarily and politically into North Africa, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, the threat to Islamic societies was two-fold. Empires such as the British had to be physically resisted. At the same time, the West’s cultural influence upon the purity of the Islamic faith was growing and had to be countered. During this period, jihad was defined as anti-colonial resistance.

This new interpretation of jihad was typified by the pronouncements of Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabi Islam. Its practical and military consequences were amply demonstrated during the decade-long resistance to the 1830 French invasion of Algeria led by `Abd al-Qadir and also by the Sudanese resistance to the British led by the self-proclaimed mahdi, Muhammad Ahmad. The second, non-military element of this redefinition of jihad—what author Noor Mohammad has described as Islam’s internal “housecleaning”—was represented by Shah Waliullah’s call to spiritual revival and the purification of India’s Muslims under British control.[5]

This definition of jihad would lead directly to the next interpretation, one that relies heavily on the principles laid down hundreds of years prior by Ibn Taymiyya, including the doctrine of takfir (excommunication). This fifth version of jihad was fathered and later developed by Abu al-A`la Mawdudi in India (then later Pakistan) and Sayyid Qutb in Egypt. This time the threat was embodied by the post-WWII Arab leaders of the Middle East and the influence of Western “soft power,” which together equaled a new jahiliyya, or age of polytheism and ignorance. Apostate leaders were to be resisted once more (and removed if possible), Islam purified and Shari`a re-imposed.

HOLY WAR AS AN INTERNATIONAL BRAND

With the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union in 1979, jihad would no longer be limited to resistance against the cultural and political influence of the secular West or un-Islamic Arab rulers. Although it is true that within Afghanistan, among the Afghans, the motivation to resist Soviet domination did not have to be couched in terms of theology but simply in terms of survival and sovereignty, to the Arab mujahidin recruited by the Palestinian Abdullah Azzam, jihad was a crucial concept, a brand Azzam assiduously built in his travels around the world. Most importantly, Azzam built his jihadist brand in a way that negated earlier requirements for holy war to be declared by a legitimate authority, as he redefined military resistance as an individual duty.

In his introduction to “Defense of Muslim Lands,” he plainly stated that

…if a piece of Muslim land the size of a hand-span is infringed upon, then jihad becomes fard `ayn (a personal obligation) on every Muslim male and female, where the child shall march forward without the permission of its parents and the wife without the permission of the husband.

Azzam invoked Ibn Taymiyya by name to justify his version of self-declared jihad and then warned his audiences of the price they would pay if they did not follow the path of military resistance. Quoting from the Qur’an, sura 9 verse 39: “If you march not forth, He will punish you with a painful torment and will replace you with another people, and you cannot harm Him at all, and Allah is able to do all things.”[6] By the late 1980s, Azzam’s rebranding of Muslim holy war in a new political and geostrategic context was so successful that even in the West jihad would become synonymous with guerrilla resistance to communist invasion and dictatorship.

Only after the eventual defeat of the Soviets, the end of the Cold War and the outbreak of the first Gulf War would the seventh and most important redefining of jihad of the sword be born. With Azzam’s death in 1989, his organization of Arab guerrillas, the Mujahidin Services Bureau (MAK), was taken over by his deputy Usama bin Ladin. Rejected by his own government when he offered to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraq with his Arab fighters, Bin Ladin would change the mission and name of his organization. The “godless” Russians had been defeated, the bipolar world order replaced by the hegemony of a victorious United States, a country that had been invited to bring its troops and influence into the Arabian Peninsula to defend Saudi Arabia from Iraq. Guerrilla warfare within Saudi Arabia against the apostate House of Saud and against U.S. targets was impractical, if not impossible.

Several influential figures who had followed the teachings of the original Muslim Brotherhood and its leader Hassan al-Banna, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, had, after the severe crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, joined the MAK. Bin Ladin’s Wahhabi understanding of jihad would be suffused with the ideology of the Egyptian Qutbists. What resulted was al-Qa`ida and a new indirect approach to violent jihad. Subsequently, the meaning of jihad was expanded for a seventh time since Muhammad built his empire in the seventh century. The fight would be focused less on irregular warfare in countries where Muslims were suffering and more on the “far enemy,” which they identified as supporters of tyrannical regimes in the Muslim world. With the East Africa embassy bombings, the USS Cole attack and then finally the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, Bin Ladin successfully defined jihad as willful targeting of civilians by a non-state actor through unconventional means. The seventh political definition of jihad, therefore, is terrorism.

CONCLUSION

It is crucial for analysts and strategic planners to fully understand this mutation and evolution of the concept of jihad over time. It is incorrect to see jihad solely as a religious concept referring to the striving of the individual to be pure, because jihad of the sword is referenced in the hadith in multiple instances. It is clear that the meaning of violent jihad has been shaped during the centuries to fit the needs of those espousing holy war and calling their co-religionists to the battlefield. Usama bin Ladin’s great historical significance is that he managed to turn jihad from referring to guerrilla resistance against military oppression of the 1980s to mean the killing of mass numbers of civilians on the soil of non-Muslim lands. Understanding this contextual evolution is critical in the effort to find strategies to weaken al-Qa`ida’s ideology.

Dr. Sebastian Gorka teaches irregular warfare and counterterrorism at the College of International Security Affairs of the National Defense University, Washington D.C. He is an Associate Fellow of the Joint Special Operations University (USSOCOM) whose first degree was in Philosophy and Theology. Most recently, he co-authored, with David Kilcullen, “Who’s Winning the Battle for Narrative: Al-Qaida versus the United States and its Allies,” in Influence Warfare (Praeger 2009). The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or any other government agency.

[1] Jahiliyya refers to the age of polytheism and “unbelief” that existed before the Prophet Muhammad.[2] The hijra refers to the migration of the Prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina.[3] Ibn Taymiyya, “Rulings of Fighting the Mongols,” fatawa, 28/524.[4] Ibid.; See also Ibn Taymiyya, Al-Shaykh al-Imam: Al-Siyasah al-Shariyah fi Islah al Raiwa Rajyah (Cairo: Dar al-Shab, 1976).[5] Noor Mohammad, “The Doctrine of Jihad: An Introduction,” Journal of Law and Religion 3:2 (1985): p. 396.[6] This is otherwise known as part of the Sura at Taubah (Repentence).

(Originally published 3 October 2009 in the CTC Sentinel, Combating Terrorism Center, West Point)

McCaul: ISIS Linked to 29 Terror Plots, Attacks Against West Since Obama’s ‘JV Team’ Comments

jihadi-car-parade-videoshotBreitbart, by EDWIN MORA, March 24, 2015:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has been linked to “29 terrorist plots or attacks” against the West nearly a year after President Obama called the jihadist group a “JV team,” revealed House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX).

As ISIS stormed Iraq in January 2014, President Obama dismissed the brutal jihadist organization as a junior varsity (“jayvee team”) terrorist group.

“A year after the president called ISIS the ‘JV team,’ the organization can draw on over 20,000 foreign fighters and has been linked to 29 terrorist plots or attacks targeting the West,” said Chairman McCaul in his opening remarks at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing today.  “And the day the president said the global war on terror was effectively over was the day al Baghdadi created ISIS.”

“ISIS now controls territory the size of Belgium, governs millions of people, draws on billions of dollars in revenue, and commands tens of thousands of foot soldiers,” he added. “Terrorist safe havens have spread across the Middle East and North Africa.”

The chairman went on to note that ISIS claimed responsibility for the deadly terrorist attack at a museum in Tunisia, which is located next to Libya where the jihadist group hasestablished a presence.

McCaul said, “The gunmen involved had received training in Libyan terror camps.”

Nearly 20 people were killed in the attack.

Furthermore, the Texas Republican pointed out that ISIS, a Sunni group, has also claimed to be behind the coordinated attack against two Shiite mosques in Yemen, which he said, “killed more than 150 people.”

“Yemen’s instability has led to the evacuation of our remaining forces and will further empower extremists,” he added. “This situation is alarming given that al Qaeda’s premier bomb-makers in [Yemen-based] AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] have been targeting the homeland and Western interests for years.”

“Over the past year, Islamist terrorists have struck Western cities, including Paris, Sydney, Ottawa, Copenhagen, and Brussels. We have witnessed the reach of extremists here at home as well,” noted McCaul. “An Ohio-based ISIS sympathizer was arrested in January for plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol. Last week, an ISIS-aligned hacking group posted the names, photos, and addresses of 100 American service members, calling their ‘brothers residing in America’ to attack these individuals.”

Today’s House panel hearing was titled, “A Global Battleground: The Fight Against Islamist Extremism at Home and Abroad.” [statement pdf’s available at hearing link]

Also see:

Obama Removes Iran from Terror List, Praises it for Fighting Terrorism

obama-iran-450x286Frontpage, March 16, 2015 by Daniel Greenfield:

The mask is coming off faster than ever.

You know the country responsible for killing hundreds of marines, which provided sanctuary to Al Qaeda and whose terrorist proxies helped give Al Qaeda the skills to carry out 9/11?

They’re no longer terrorists. Sure their terrorist groups currently control parts of Lebanon and Yemen, but they’re not terrorists. Because if Iran was a state sponsor of terror, then Obama letting them have the bomb might look bad. This way it’s fine.

An annual report delivered recently to the US Senate by James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, removed Iran and Hezbollah from its list of terrorism threats, after years in which they featured in similar reports

In describing Iran’s regional role, the report noted the Islamic Republic’s “intentions to dampen sectarianism, build responsive partners, and deescalate tensions with Saudi Arabia,” but cautioned that “Iranian leaders—particularly within the security services—are pursuing policies with negative secondary consequences for regional stability and potentially for Iran.

The only time the report mentions Hezbollah is when describing it as a victim of attacks.

Lebanon faces growing threats from terrorist groups, including the al-Nusrah Front and ISIL. Sunni extremists are trying to establish networks in Lebanon and have increased attacks against Lebanese army and Hizballah positions along the Lebanese-Syrian border. Lebanon potentially faces a protracted conflict in northern and eastern parts of the country from extremist groups seeking to seize Lebanese territory, supplies, and hostages.

That clarifies that Obama no longer considers Hezbollah an enemy (not that he ever did). Instead it’s an ally that is classed together with Lebanon, rather than a threat to it.

Here’s what Obama chose to turn his back on.

“The worst part for me is that nobody remembers,” Mark Nevells said last year on the anniversary of the Hezbollah bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut.

A Marine had thrown his body in front of the truck to try stop the vehicle and afterward for five days, Nevells and other Marines had dug through the rubble for the bodies of the men they had served with.

One of the first Marines on the scene heard voices coming from underneath the rubble. “Get us out. Don’t leave us.”

The Marines lost more people that day than at any time since Iwo Jima and the number of Americans murdered that day by a terrorist group was a record that would stand until September 11.

And more of it still.

The Marines who died in the bombing were lucky. Another Marine did not die as quickly.

Colonel William R. Higgins was captured by Hezbollah, the terrorist group acting as Iran’s hand in Lebanon, and tortured for months until his body was dumped near a mosque.

An autopsy report found that he had been starved and had suffered multiple lethal injuries that could have caused his death.  The skin on his face had been partially removed along with his tongue and he had also been castrated.

Fred Hof, a diplomat who had been a friend of the murdered man, said, “I am one of a small handful of Americans who knows the exact manner of Rich’s death. If I were to describe it to you now – which I will not – I can guarantee that a significant number of people in this room would become physically ill.”

Like Higgins, William Francis Buckley, the CIA station chief, was also captured and tortured for months. On video tapes released by his Hezbollah captors, he was incoherent and his mind had been broken by the horrors inflicted on his ravaged body and his soul.

“They had done more than ruin his body,” CIA Director William Casey said. “His eyes made it clear his mind had been played with. It was horrific, medieval and barbarous”

Robert Stethem, a Navy diver, was brutally murdered when Hezbollah terrorists took over TWA flight 847. The Iranian-backed terrorists, one of whom was Imad Mughniyah, beat and kicked him to death.

“They were jumping in the air and landing full force on his body. He must have had all his ribs broken,” Uli Derickson, the stewardess, described. “I was sitting only 15 feet away. I couldn’t listen to it. I put my fingers in my ears. I will never forget. I could still hear. They put the mike up to his face so his screams could be heard by the outside world.”

Obama wants you to believe that the 47 Senators who stood up to him on Iran are traitors. The truth is he’s the traitor.

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How Arab Spring Opened the Door to Terrorism’s Ugly March

ISIS Al-Qaeda Militants Fighting Syrian Civil WarDaily Signal, Sharyl Attkisson,  March 12, 2015:

It’s not your imagination. Global terrorism, dominated by Muslim extremist groups, is by far the worst it’s been in modern times.

In the past six years, the United States has added 21 names to its list of foreign terrorist organizations: all but one of them radical Muslim groups. That’s more than the previous 10 years combined.

At the same time, the number of terrorist acts has shattered previous records. Experts predict data for 2014, which is still being compiled, will likely reflect more than 15,000 terrorist attacks: a vast increase over 2013—which was already the deadliest year for global terrorism since data was first collected in 1970.

The Institute for Economics and Peace reported 10,000 terrorist incidents killed 18,000 people in 2013. Nine countries were added to the list of nations where more than 50 lives were lost to terrorist attacks in a single year.

Hundreds of people in the Turkish village of Suruc, near the border town of Kobane in northern Syria, accompany the coffins of three Kurdish fighters who died while battling ISIS militants. (Photo: Barbaros Kayan/Newscom)

Arab Spring Devolves Into Terrorist Winter

Eleven terrorist groups have been added to the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations since the Arab Spring.

“Arab Spring” is the popular name given to the democratic wave of civil unrest in the Arab world that began in December 2010 and lasted through mid-2012.

It turns out the revolutionary movement created an ideal environment for terrorism to grow and thrive.

“Terrorists realized they could exploit the confusion and vacuum in power created by the uprisings,” says a U.S. intelligence officer stationed in Libya during the Arab Spring movement. He says terrorists used social media to stoke civil unrest and take advantage of the chaos.

In the Arab Spring’s wake, Egypt and Tunisia disbanded the security structures that had helped keep jihadists in check, and freed many Islamist and jihadist political prisoners. In Libya, parts of the country fell entirely outside government control, providing openings for violent terrorist movements.

“Many of the regimes weakened or deposed by the Arab Spring were among Washington’s most effective counterterrorism partners,” noted Juan Zarate in an analysis written in June 2011.

A senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Zarate said the political upheaval created “new space” for al-Qaeda and associated terrorist movements to operate where none existed before.

Graphic: Kelsey Harris

Predictions Fulfilled

The idea that revolutionary uprisings might open the door to terrorists was well-recognized by analysts such as Zarate at the time.

“The chaos and disappointment that follow revolutions will inevitably provide many opportunities for al-Qaeda to spread its influence,” Zarate predicted in an April 17, 2011, analysis. “Al-Qaeda’s leaders … know that this is a strategic moment. They are banking on the disillusionment that inevitably follows revolutions to reassert their prominence in the region.”

Two years later, on Aug. 5, 2013, Zarate warned, “we are now at risk of failing to imagine how the terrorist threat may be changing—well beyond the exclusive al-Qaeda prism.”

Al-Qaeda-Linked Groups: “The Most Lethal”

In the first nine months of 2014, nearly 13,000 terrorist attacks killed more than 31,000 people, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland.

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 7.44.03 PM

Far from fading away, al-Qaeda’s legacy has only grown, says START Executive Director William Braniff.

“It is clear that groups generally associated with al-Qaeda remain the most lethal groups in the world, and it is their violence that has driven global increases in activity and lethality,” Braniff reported in congressional testimony Feb. 13.

About half of the terrorist attacks and fatalities occurred in just three countries: Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda spinoff ISIS was responsible for more terrorist activity than any other single group.

150310_Terrorists_Sharyl-v2

Today’s Landscape

ISIS has declared itself a “Caliphate,” which refers to an Islamic form of government led by an authoritative power considered a successor to the Muslim prophet Muhammad. Braniff says ISIS sees the growth of its Caliphate as “the means to the end of a final, decisive military confrontation with the West.”

“In countries where terrorism crowds out nonviolent activism, civilians often have little choice but to align with extremist organizations out of concerns for self-preservation,” Braniff says. “This is one mechanism in which extremist ideologies and groups can gain sway over larger swathes of society.”

Zarate, author of “Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare,” says ISIS is “piggy-backing” off the work of al-Qaeda and beginning to advance the global agenda of Sharia rule.

Sharia calls for harsh punishments, such as stoning, amputation or execution, for offenses such as wine drinking and infidelity.

Most Muslim countries do not strictly employ these classic punishments, but the United Nations estimates thousands of women are killed each year in Sharia-justified “honor killings”: victims murdered for bringing “dishonor” to one’s family. ISIS has become known for employing other Sharia measures such as genital cutting, child marriage, stoning and execution by crucifixion.

ISIS fighters holding the Al-Qaeda flag with "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" written on it. (Photo: Medyan Dairieh/Newscom)

“I worry about what the strategic implications are if groups like ISIS have physical space, leadership and innovation to bring their wild imaginings to fruition,” says Zarate, a former deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism.

“Anytime we allow terrorist organizations with smart, committed and dedicated groups of individuals to adapt and think strategically about how to pursue their agenda to include attacking the U.S.—that’s a dangerous position to be in.”

Sharyl Attkisson, an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist, is a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal. She is the author of “Stonewalled.” Send an email to Sharyl. – 

Vehicular terror attack hits Border Police base in Jerusalem, wounding five female officers; terrorist shot, currently in critical condition

Ynet News, by Roy Yanovski, March 6, 2015:

Jerusalem was hit by a suspected vehicular terror attack Friday morning, police and paramedics said. A Palestinian man from East Jerusalem rammed his car into a light rail train station after plowing into a group of female officers in northern Jerusalem, wounding five officers and an Israeli.

MDA paramedics administered first aid to six people, five female officers, three of which were in light to moderate condition while two were lightly hurt; and an Israeli man in his 50s who was hurt at the rail station. MDA spokesman Zaki Heller said that paramedics immediately arrived on scene and treated the five who were injured. All five were in their 20s and another female officer suffered anxiety.

The attack took place outside a Border Police base in northern Jerusalem on Shimon HaTzadik street, which was also the site of a November 5 hit and run terror attack that killed one border police offer and injured 13 people. The area has seen no less than 5 terror attacks in the past year.

After hitting the group of officers, who were outside the base, the Palestinian continued 200-300 meters to the light rail station, where he hit a bicyclist – a 51-year-old Israeli man.

Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

The terrorist, Udaayi Salayma from Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem, was shot by a Border Guard who was present at the scene as part of a training exercise going on at in the base – ending the incident by seriously wounding him.  A large cleaver was found on the Palestinian’s body after the attack, which he reportedly attempted to use on the forces after crashing his car.

Terrorist wounded after being shot (Photo: Jessica Muscio, Benna Mental)
Terrorist wounded after being shot (Photo: Jessica Muscio, Benna Mental)

Police identified the attacker as a Palestinian man in his twenties from east Jerusalem. Police say it is difficult to prevent such attacks, which appear to be carried out by “lone wolf” assailants who are not thought to be dispatched by a militant organization.

Udaayi Salayma
Udaayi Salayma

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat responded to the attack, saying: “We will not let terror disrupt our daily lives and we will continue to fight it without compromise. I would like to commend the security personnel, the municipal guards, the police and alert citizens who quickly brought the event to an end and prevented further injuries.

“Our response to terror is to continue on with our routine, and as such all Purim events in the capital will continue as planned and the security throughout the entire city will be increased, including the main event to be held at Safra Square in a closed and secure location. I invite all the residents of the country to celebrate Purim in Jerusalem and strengthen us.”

 

 

“The swift and determined response stopped the attack as it was beginning and prevented more innocents from being injured,” said Moshe Edri, Jerusalem Police Commander.

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

 

The latest attack comes just a few weeks after an ultra-Orthodox man was stabbed by an Arab teen in Jerusalem on February 22. The attack, which took place in Safra Square in Jerusalem, was stopped by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat who was present at the scene with his security guard.

The two spotted the attacker while in a nearby car, jumped out of the vehicle and subdued the terrorist.

Friday was the seven year anniversary of the deadly Mercaz HaRav terror attack in which eight seminary students were brutally murdered in one Israel’s most prestigious religious institutions.

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Tzvi Zucker tweets:

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Congress to Obama Admin: U.S. Billions Are ‘Enabling’ Terror Regimes in Qatar

Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani / AP

Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani / AP

Washington Free Beacon, by Adam Kredo, Feb. 23, 2015:

Congress is warning that billions of dollars in U.S. arms sales to Qatar could be enabling the Arab country’s support for leading terrorist organizations and allies, according to a letter to the administration being circulated on Capitol Hill.

Qatar, long one of America’s top Arab military allies in the Middle East, has been funding and providing refuge to an increasing number of terrorist groups and allies in recent years, including most recently the Islamic State (IS).

The United States sends billions of dollars and arms to Qatar to keep it as a strategic regional ally.

Congress’ concern about Qatar’s support for the terror group comes ahead of a high-profile meeting between the country’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, and President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday.

The letter, which is being circulated Rep. Doug Lamborn (R., Colo.), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, calls out Qatar for being “the world’s safe haven for terrorist groups and militia leaders.” It urges U.S. officials to “reassess and reevaluate” America’s multi-billion dollar military alliance with the country.

The sharp focus on Qatar, a key military ally that receives billions in arms from the United States, come as the country faces increased scrutiny over an uptick in support for radical jihadist groups plotting against the West.

The lawmakers say the billions in U.S. assistance to Qatar could be enabling terror regimes there to thrive.

“America’s military footprint in Qatar may be enabling the Al Thani regime to offer up its territory as a fundraising center for terrorists around the region,” states the letter addressed to newly installed Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, according to an advance copy obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. “The past few years have seen Qatar grow into a major hub for terrorist operatives and terrorism finance.”

Qatar claims to support America’s campaign against Islamic State (IS) terrorists, yet does little to help the cause, the lawmakers say.

“The Qatari government turns a blind eye to terrorist fundraising for al Qaeda and the Islamic State by U.S.-designated persons within its borders,” the letter states.

“The Qatari government has also actively financed, advocated for, and—at least until recently—hosted the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, a relationship that Doha is only being compelled to reconsider after increased pressure from other Gulf States, not the United States.”

“Further evidence suggests that Qatar has directly armed or financed multiple Islamist groups in the region, undermining U.S. objectives in pivotal countries such as Libya, Egypt, and Syria by pushing those places toward violent extremism,” the letter states.

Key leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and Taliban also have “found a safe haven in Qatar,” where they have free rein to “safely coordinate radical activities and in some cases even terrorism in the region without interruption,” according to the letter.

As Qatar accommodates and funds terror groups such as Hamas, IS, and al Qaeda, it simultaneously cashes in on massive U.S. arms deals. The lawmakers maintain that this U.S. money only emboldens the Qatari government.

“U.S. reliance on Qatar’s support such as the Al Udeid base in Qatar has emboldened the Qataris to believe they can undermine and damage American interests and efforts in the region without consequence,” they write. “America’s strategic interests should not be undercut or held captive.”

“Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and the [United Arab Emirates] all have advanced bases which can support the same U.S. aircraft and facilities, possibly making the need for such an extensive installation in Qatar redundant,” they propose.

The lawmakers urge Carter and the Defense Department to begin developing “a strategy to hold Qatar accountable for their support of terrorism, including a serious exploration of positioning some of our military assets with other allies in the region.”

On Tuesday, Obama will host Qatari Emir al Thani at the White House.

“The president looks forward to discussing with Sheikh Tamim political, economic, and security issues of mutual concern to our two countries,” it said in a statement. “The United States and Qatar have a long-standing partnership and this meeting is an opportunity to further that relationship along with our shared interest in supporting stability and prosperity in the Middle East.”

Al Shabaab calls for attack on Mall of America in new video

Published on Feb 22, 2015 by EnGlobal News World

Fox News, Feb. 22, 2015:

A new video from Al Shabaab purportedly shows the terror group calling for an attack on Mall of America, in Bloomington, Minn.

According to Fox 9, the mall is one of three similar targets the terror group specifically names, including West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the Oxford Street shopping area in London.

The video purportedly shows 6 minutes of graphic images and the terrorists celebrating the 2013 Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that killed more than 60 people.

The narrator, his face wrapped in a black-and-white kaffiyeh-type scarf and wearing a camouflage jacket, spoke with a British accent and appeared to be of Somali origin. He accused Kenyan troops in Somalia of committing abuses against Somali Muslims.

He ended the video by calling on Muslim men to attack other shopping malls in Western countries.

An image of the Mall of America is shown in the video, alongside its GPS coordinates. The mall says it is ramping up its security in response.

“We will continue to monitor events with the help of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies,” Mall of America said in a statement. “As always, we take any potential threat seriously and respond appropriately. Mall of America has implemented extra security precautions, some may be noticeable to guests, and others won’t be. We will continue to follow the situation, along with law enforcement, and will remain vigilant as we always do in similar situations.”

Jim Kallstrom, the former assistant director of the FBI’s New York office, said the FBI has a “huge job in front of them.

“You look at the Mall of America, you look at all the malls then you start to backtrack and say you know it would be nice if we knew what comes and goes into the country,” Kallstrom told Fox News on Sunday. “We don’t have a clue.”

The Department of Homeland Security and FBI issued a joint statement Sunday saying that both agencies were aware of the video.

“In recent months, the FBI and DHS have worked closely with our state and local public safety counterparts and members of the private sector, to include mall owners and operators, to prevent and mitigate these types of threats,” the statement read.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on NBC’s Meet The Press that “there needs to be an awareness.

“We’re in a new phase now, and I’m afraid that this most recent video release reflects that,” Joshnson said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week.

Al Shabaab, Somalia’s Islamic extremist rebels, claimed responsibility for a Friday attack on a hotel in Somalia’s capital that killed 25 people and wounded 40, the country’s government said Saturday.

One Islamic extremist rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into the gate of the Central Hotel, and another went in and blew himself up, a statement from Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke’s office said.

Government officials were meeting at the Central Hotel at the time, and the statement said Mogadishu’s deputy mayor and two legislators were among the dead. It was unclear whether the government’s report of 25 dead included the two bombers.

Despite the loss of key strongholds in Somalia, Al Shabaab, which is linked to Al Qaeda, continues to stage attacks in the capital, Mogadishu, and elsewhere.

The group, designated as a terrorist organization by the State Department in 2008, has close ties to Al Qaeda through its senior leaders. It has attracted several radical volunteers from Minneapolis and Americans began traveling to Somalia in 2007 to join the group.

Somalia’s president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, condemned the Friday attack and said it would not derail efforts by his government to restore peace to Somalia, which is recovering from decades of war.

This is the second attack on a hotel in Mogadishu in less than a month. On Jan. 22, three Somali nationals were killed when a suicide car bomber blew himself up at the gate of a hotel housing the advance party of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who visited the country days later.

Al Shabaab controlled much of Mogadishu during the years 2007 to 2011, but was pushed out of Somalia’s capital and other major cities by African Union forces.

In Kenya, the government dismissed the Al Shabaab video.

“They’re using propaganda to legitimize what cannot be legitimized. When you lead a group to go and attack a shopping mall and kill innocent shoppers that cannot be legitimized, those were not soldiers,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka said.

“Muslims also died in the Westgate attack. It’s in our interest to ensure Somalia is stabilized because the instability affects us. The video is cheap propaganda trying to re-write history and to get more support from those support them.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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